Youthreach is the Department of Education and Skill’s official education, training and work experience programme for young people aged 16-20 years who have left school early. Its aim is to develop the core skills needed for further learning and to prepare young people to progress to further education/training or to employment. There are six Youthreach centres across the county in Ballyshannon, Buncrana, Glengad, Gortahork, Letterkenny and Lifford.

What courses are available in Youthreach?

Youthreach offers young people a wide range of learning and training opportunities. A range of national QQI (Quality and Qualifications Ireland) qualifications are provided at Levels 2 (General Learning), 3 (Employability Skills) and 4 (General Learning).  Subjects include art and craft, catering, computers, childcare, hairdressing, health and fitness, literacy, numeracy, office skills, outdoor pursuits, personal development, woodcraft and many more. Work experience is also an important part of the Youthreach Programme. Other qualifications include Basic Food Hygiene, ECDL, First Aid and Gaisce Awards.

Centres provide an extensive Health Promotion Programme covering areas such as Positive Mental Health, Sexual Health, Alcohol and Drugs, Road Safety, Citizenship and Money Management.


The Youthreach programme is free to early school leavers, aged between 16 and 20 years old. Learners are paid a training allowance to undertake their course (€45 for 16-17, €203 for those aged 18+ years).

How to apply for Youthreach

You can apply for Youthreach at any time of the year either by contacting your nearest centre through the numbers on the right, applying online through (use Youthreach as your keyword) or complete this Enquiry Form and your nearest centre will get back to you. For further information download the following information brochure.

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Did you know you can apply to our @DonegalYR programme for early school leavers (16-20 yrs) in our six centres at any time of the year? There's more info in this brochure ( and an enquiry form here:

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Youthreach is co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Union.

Student Stories

Read Pierce’s Youthreach story. 

Read Jasmine’s Youthreach story.

Read Jessica and Callum’s Youthreach stories.

Read Carmel’s Youthreach story.

Contact Details

Youthreach Coordinator
Paula Burns
Tel: 071 9851286

Youthreach Coordinator
Jayne O’Donnell
Tel: 074 9362626

Ghort an Choirce
Youthreach Coordinator
Caitriona Cullen
Tel: 074 9135218

Acting Youthreach Coordinator
Gillian Kennedy
Tel: 074 9122585

Acting Youthreach Coordinator
Aidan Callaghan
Tel: 074 9142114

Did you know that you can start on a full-time Youthreach course and get paid for your attendance?

Youthreach Programme Supports

The following supports are available while on our Youthreach programme.